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Heywood House

Gazetteer No. G0174

Date 1906-07

Address Ballinakill Port Laoise, Leix Ireland


Heywood Gardens is the site of two garden types: the great park created by Frederick Trench in the late 1700s and the small interlocked formal gardens created by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll in the early 1900s. After Trench built Heywood House in 1773, he landscaped the area between his house and the village of Ballinakill. Inspired by his Grand Tour of Europe, Trench moved hills, dug lakes, planted trees and placed follies. His results were considered to be the most exquisite romantic landscape of their time. In the early 1900s, Colonel Hutchenson Poe hired the Sir Edwin Lutyens to create formal gardens around Heywood House. The gardens were probably landscaped by Gertrude Jekyll. The gardens were completed in 1912 at a cost of £250,000.The formal gardens contrast with views of the landscape. A walk lined with pollarded lime trees leads to a formal terrace overlooking the surrounding countryside. Another terrace overlooks one of the lakes dug by Trench in the 1700s, where it is possible to spot moorhens, kingfishers and other waterbirds. In the sunken garden, circular terraces descend to an elliptical pool, where small statues of turtles gaze inquisitively at the grand fountain. On the top level a loggia, roofed with red tiles, includes an inscription taken from the writings of Alexander Pope. In the wall that surrounds the garden, each circular window frames a view of the landscape constructed by Frederick Trench. The house was burnt down in 1950, probably due to an electrical fault. (Contributor: Paul Waite)


Also Cited In

Hicks, D. (2013) Irish Country Houses: A chronicle of change. Cork: Collins Press.

WEAVER, L., 1919. COUNTRY HOMES GARDENS OLD & NEW: HEYWOOD–I. QUEEN’S COUNTY, IRELAND, THE SEAT OF SIR W. HUTCHESON POË, Bart. Country Life (Archive : 1901 – 2005), 45(1148), pp. 16-22.

WEAVER, L., 1919. COUNTRY HOMES GARDENS OLD & NEW: HEYWOOD–II. QUEEN’S COUNTY, IRELAND, THE SEAT OF SIR W. HUTCHESON POE, Bart. Country Life (Archive : 1901 – 2005), 45(1149), pp. 42-47.

Listing Grade

National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Rating: National

Listing Reference



Sir E Hucheson Poe, Bart